I dream my painting, and then I paint my dreams. - Vincent van Gogh
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 199, Part II, 12 October 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 199, Part II, 12 October 1999

A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern
Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the
staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This is Part II, a compilation of news concerning Central,
Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Part I covers Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia and is distributed
simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of RFE/RL
Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's Web
site: http://www.rferl.org/newsline

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT SAYS WEAK UNION TREATY BETTER THAN
NOTHING

* ALBANIA'S MAJKO TO REMAIN PRIME MINISTER

* UN ADMINISTRATOR KILLED IN PRISHTINA
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT SAYS WEAK UNION TREATY BETTER THAN
NOTHING. Alyaksandr Lukashenka stressed on 11 October that
the Belarus-Russia union treaty draft published in the press
of both countries last week does not introduce anything that
differs in essence from the 1997 Belarusian-Russian union
treaty, Belarusian Television reported. Lukashenka complained
that the new document does not provide for a single union
currency or a single money-issuing center. He added that
while Belarus and Russia have agreed on the document, the
draft is a "Russian version." Lukashenka argued, however,
that the integration process must not be stopped and that the
treaty must therefore be adopted even in its imperfect form.
JM

UKRAINIAN ELECTION ALLIANCE POSTPONES NAMING SINGLE
CANDIDATE. The so-called "Kaniv four" alliance of Yevhen
Marchuk, Oleksandr Moroz, Volodymyr Oliynyk, and Oleksandr
Tkachenko has postponed naming a single candidate to compete
against incumbent President Leonid Kuchma in the 31 October
presidential elections. Interfax on 11 October quoted Moroz
as saying that the name of a single candidate will be made
known on 13 or 14 October. Meanwhile, AP reported on 11
October that the postponement is intended to better ensure
the safety of the single candidate. "We have information that
attacks are being planned against our joint candidate,"
Oliynyk told the news agency, but he did not elaborate.
Kuchma commented that he has "long said that the behavior of
those four recalls an agony.... They have nothing to say
about themselves, so they pour dirt [on the president],"
according to AP. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SLAMS OPPONENTS OF IMF LOANS. Kuchma said
on 11 October that breaking or limiting relations with the
IMF--as proposed by presidential candidates Natalya Vitrenko
and Petro Symonenko--would spell "catastrophe" for Ukraine,
Reuters reported. According to Kuchma, there are no credits
cheaper or longer-term than those offered by the IMF and the
World Bank. He added that Ukraine has to pay $3 billion in
2000 to service its international debts. JM

KYIV MAYOR ALLOWS SALE OF LAND. Oleksandr Omelchenko recently
decided to put municipal land in the Ukrainian capital on
sale, AP reported on 11 October. The sale of land for non-
agricultural purposes-which is opposed by Ukraine's leftist
parliament--was made possible through a January presidential
decree. According to the 11 October "Kievskie vedomosti," one
hectare of land in Kyiv can be sold for 200,000-500,000
hryvni ($44,400-$111,000), compared with the average price of
100,000 hryvni elsewhere in Ukraine. JM

FOREIGN MINISTERS OF EU 'FAST-TRACK' CANDIDATES MEET IN
TALLINN. Estonian Foreign Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves on 11
October hosted his counterparts from Slovenia, Poland, the
Czech Republic, and Hungary along with the chief EU
negotiator for Cyprus. This was the first meeting at
ministerial level of the countries that are included in the
fast-track negotiations for EU membership. Among the issues
discussed was an agreement calling on the EU to establish a
timetable for concluding the accession negotiations. Ilves
said those talks should end "in 2000 and no later than 2001."
The Czech Republic's Jan Kavan said that the "group of six"
supports beginning accession negotiations with all other
aspiring countries, but he stressed that ongoing negotiations
with the six should be accelerated. MH

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS WTO LAW. Lennart Meri on 11 October
signed into law the ratification of the World Trade
Organization accession protocol. While the parliament had
passed the protocol last month by a vote of 48 to seven,
Legal Chancellor Eerik-Juhan Truuvali suggested the ballot
was not legal: as membership places a financial burden upon
Estonia, Truuvali argued, majority support among the 101
parliamentary members is required (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1
October 1999). However, the government ruled that the vote
was indeed valid, according to ETA. Estonia will become a
member of the WTO 30 days after the organization's
Secretariat is informed of ratification. MH

OPPOSITION LOSES NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION AGAINST ESTONIAN
INTERIOR MINISTER. The opposition Center Party on 11 October
initiated a no-confidence motion against Interior Minister
Juri Mois that failed by a vote of 32 to 45. The embattled
minister has been fending off widespread criticism since he
introduced a plan to cut the number of police officers (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 17 September 1999), which was supported by
Prime Minister Mart Laar and the three-party ruling
coalition. Some observers believe that the confidence vote is
related to the local elections, as the head of the Center
Party, Edgar Savisaar, is the incumbent Tallinn City Council
chairman and the popular Mois is tipped as the mayoral
candidate of the ruling Pro Patria Union. MH

LATVIAN REFERENDUM PETITION DRIVE SUCCEEDS. The Latvian
Central Election Commission announced on 11 October that the
petition drive to hold a referendum on the controversial
changes to the pensions law has succeeded (see also "RFE/RL
Newsline," 6 October 1999). The commission said it received
184,383 signatures, representing 13.7 percent of Latvia's
voters. Ten percent of voters, or 134,195 individuals, must
support a referendum petition for it to succeed. MH

CRUDE SUPPLY TO LITHUANIA CUT AGAIN. Russia halted crude oil
shipments to Lithuania on 9 October, "Lietuvos Rytas" and
news agencies reported. It is the third time this year that
crude supplies have been interrupted, and officials from the
Mazeikai Oil refinery said they will have to shut down
operations if crude supplies are not resumed by the end of
the week. A Mazeikiai Oil spokesperson told APF that the
company believes the Russian Fuel and Energy Ministry ordered
the cessation of supplies. Last week, Russian oil giant
LUKoil announced it is pulling out of Lithuania (see "RFE/RL
Newsline" 11 October 1999). Lithuanian Economics Minister
Eugenijus Maldeikis noted that "it is possible that this is
LUKoil's reaction" to having failed to acquire its desired
stake in Mazeikiai Oil. MH

POLISH LEFTIST LEADER CRITICIZES ADMINISTRATION REFORM.
Leszek Miller, leader of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD),
said on 11 October that the state administration reform
introduced last year has not been completed. He added that
the ruling coalition either does not want to continue
decentralization or is unable to do it. He criticized the
personnel surplus in central and provincial administration
offices and interference of provincial governors in the work
of local governments. And he said that as soon as the SLD has
"more influence on the course of public affairs," it will
complete the reform. Government spokesman Krzysztof Luft said
Miller's charges are "absurd." He recalled that the SLD did
not do anything for the country's decentralization from 1993-
1997 when it shared power with the Peasant Party. JM

CZECH 'OPPOSITION AGREEMENT' TO MAKE WAY FOR LARGE COALITION?
Nova television on 11 October reported that the Civic
Democratic Party (ODS) envisages that the "opposition
agreement" will be replaced by a government in which all
parliamentary parties, except the Communists, are
represented, CTK reported. ODS chairman Vaclav Klaus said on
Prima television that "certain changes" must take place in
the government before the ODS's December national conference.
Zdenek Skromach, deputy chairman of the Social Democratic
Party, said the ODS's demand stems from "an internal ODS
struggle" ahead of the party's national conference. He
pointed out that ODS deputy chairman Ivan Langer is aiming to
replace Klaus as the head of the ODS. Langer told Frekvence 1
radio that he would like to replace Klaus sometime in the
future. MS

CZECH PREMIER SAYS 'PRESSURE FROM BRUSSELS' HELPS EU DRIVE...
In an interview with the German weekly "Der Spiegel," Prime
Minister Milos Zeman said "pressure from Brussels" can only
expedite the Czech Republic's entry into the EU. Zeman said
he believes the Czech Republic will join the EU by 2003. He
noted that the country's balance of payments was the best
this year over the last six years and that inflation has
plummeted from 10 percent to 3 percent. At the same time, he
admitted that "our biggest problem is unemployment," CTK
reported on 11 October. Asked whether he feared that Sudeten
Germans would resettle in the Czech Republic after that
country's EU accession, Zeman replied that anyone from the EU
will be "allowed to buy land here, it is only a question of
the price." MS

CZECH GOVERNMENT REIMPOSES VISA REQUIREMENTS ON NORTH KOREA.
The government on 11 October reimposed visa requirements on
citizens of North Korea, Cuba, and Cambodia, CTK reported. It
also decided not to reintroduce "for now" such requirements
on nationals of Russia, Belarus, and China because of the
possible negative impact on trade with those countries. Zeman
told journalists that the government intends to reimpose the
requirement on Ukrainian nationals and will discuss the
measure later this month. MS

NEW CENTER PARTY FORMED IN SLOVAKIA. Former Slovak Ambassador
to Prague Ivan Mjartan was elected chairman of the newly
established Democratic Center Party (SDS) on 9 October, CTK
and SITA reported. The SDS, which held its first congress in
Bratislava, said it is a center party. Mjartan told the
gathering that Slovakia needs to become a modern, liberal
state and "xenophobic isolation, envy, and economic
exploitation" are not conducive to this end. He said that
establishing a democracy has not in itself solved the
country's problems. So far, he continued, transition has
relied on "tough neo-liberalism and market tools" and has
lacked a concept for establishing a democracy. He said
"political privatization" and "cronyism" has "split Slovakia
into many regional interests" and led to breaching electoral
promises. MS

SLOVAK SKINHEADS ATTACK FOREIGN STUDENTS. Three skinheads
attacked a group of foreign students in Bratislava on 10
October, CTK reported, citing Radio Twist. A Peruvian student
was injured and had to be hospitalized. CTK said that the
police not only failed to help but even stopped the car in
which the student was being transported to the hospital,
demanding driving licenses and passports. Since none of the
students had documents on them, the police fined all the
passengers in the car. Police President Jan Pipta said it is
uncertain whether the attack was racially-motivated. "The
fact that the offenders had shaved heads does not necessarily
mean they were skinheads. Bodyguards of politicians also have
shaved heads sometimes," SITA quoted him as saying on 11
October. MS

HUNGARIAN SOCIALISTS AMEND PARTY STATUTES. The Socialist
Party's congress on 8 October abolished the party's executive
deputy chairmanship and created the posts of first deputy
chairman and party director. Analysts say the creation of the
post of first deputy chairman could pave the way for the
return of former Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth. The congress
also voted to introduce a quota system whereby one-fifth of
the members of the party's elected bodies must be under 35
and/or women. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ALBANIA'S MAJKO TO REMAIN PRIME MINISTER. Pandeli Majko said
in Tirana on 11 October that his government will remain in
office "until a change is appropriate...while respecting the
[need to preserve the] stability of the country," Reuters
reported. He added that he feels "hurt in his moral and
political legitimacy" by his recent defeat by Fatos Nano in
the contest for the Socialist Party leadership (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 11 October 1999). Majko had previously threatened
to resign the prime minister's post if he failed to gain the
party chair. Nano, who pledged to nominate a woman for
Majko's job if Majko quit, appealed to the government on 11
October "not to take any hasty decisions." He added that the
government "is legitimate and has the backing of the
Socialist Party." Elsewhere, opposition leader Sali Berisha
said that Majko no longer enjoys the backing of his own party
and should call early elections. PM

UCK COMMANDER DENIES WAR CRIMES CHARGES. General Agim Ceku,
who headed the general staff of the former Kosova Liberation
Army (UCK), told Zagreb's "Jutarnji list" of 12 October that
only Serbs committed war crimes on Croatian territory during
the 1991-1995 war. He added that he will not comment on
allegations that the Hague-based war crimes tribunal is
investigating him for war crimes in 1993, when he was a
Croatian army commander in the Medak area near Gospic. Ceku
said, however, that he expects that the Croatian government
will "react" to the charges, which appeared in the latest
issue of London's "The Sunday Times." The general told the
Croatian daily that he has no information to suggest that he
might have been secretly indicted for war crimes. PM

SERBIAN NGO CALLS FOR RELEASE OF KOSOVAR PRISONERS. The
Humanitarian Law Center said in a statement on 10 October
that Serbian authorities continue to hold 2,000 ethnic
Albanian prisoners. These include 25 minors, 11 women, about
200 wounded, and some 50 people who are sick. The statement
stressed that "their immediate release is above all required
on humanitarian grounds and is not subject to political
debate." Some of the wounded were injured in the NATO attack
on the Dubrava prison in Kosova in May. Some former inmates
of Dubrava charge that Serbian security forces killed about
100 and wounded some 200 ethnic Albanian prisoners following
the air attack, the statement added. Observers note that the
June agreement between Belgrade and NATO did not oblige the
Serbian authorities to release or provide lists of prisoners.
UN and Red Cross officials argue that this was a key omission
in the agreement. PM

UN ADMINISTRATOR KILLED IN PRISHTINA. The UN's Bernard
Kouchner said in Paris on 12 October that the UN civilian
administrator beaten and shot dead in Prishtina the previous
day "was apparently an American of Bulgarian origin," Reuters
reported. Kouchner suggested that Valentin Krumov, who had
arrived in Kosova earlier that day, spoke Bulgarian in a
restaurant and the local inhabitants mistook him for a Serb.
In Prishtina, a UN police spokesman said that a crowd
attacked and beat Krumov in Mother Theresa Street before
killing him. It was the first killing of a civilian
administrator in Kosova. AP quoted an unnamed Polish member
of the UN police force as saying that he never speaks Polish
in public in Prishtina because local Albanians are often
unable to distinguish Serbo-Croatian from other Slavic
languages and react with hostility to the sound of any Slavic
language. PM

NO MASS GRAVE IN KOSOVA MINE. A spokeswoman for the Hague-
based war crimes tribunal said in Prishtina on 11 October
that international forensic investigators have found no bones
or bodies in the Trepca lead and zinc mine near Mitrovica.
She stressed that "they found absolutely nothing..., not even
animal bones." Reuters noted that rumors have been
circulating in Kosova that Serbian forces dumped the bodies
of as many as 700 Kosovars in the important mine. PM

NEW IDEAS FOR RAHOVEC? NATO's General Wolfgang Sauer said in
Rahovec on 11 October that there has been little progress in
talks between local ethnic Albanians and Russian
peacekeepers. KFOR has assigned the Russians to the town, but
the Kosovars say that Russians are pro-Serb and hence
unwelcome. Sauer added that a former UCK commander proposed
that the Russians stay out of Rahovec for one year "while the
citizens rebuild their lives." After that, the local people
"might" agree to a Russian presence, the UCK official argued.
Elsewhere, Rahovec's Mayor Agim Thaqi suggested that Russians
might immediately begin patrolling outlying villages but not
the town itself, AP reported. In Moscow, Foreign Minister
Igor Ivanov sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
again charging that the UCK "and other armed groups of
Kosovar Albanians" have not yet been demilitarized, Interfax
reported. PM

EU TO LAUNCH LIMITED FUEL PROGRAM FOR SERBIA. EU foreign
ministers agreed in Luxembourg on 11 October to try to send
fuel trucks to the opposition-controlled towns of Nis and
Pirot. How the EU will do this without encountering the
opposition of the Yugoslav government remains unclear, the
"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reported. The ministers
agreed to maintain a ban on civilian flights to and from
Serbia. German and Finnish diplomats sought to lift the ban,
arguing that it affects ordinary people more than the top
regime officials. Germany's Joschka Fischer stressed that the
EU's ban on visas for leading officials is its key means of
pressuring the Belgrade elite. Most leading members of the
Serbian opposition stayed away from the meeting because of
their objections to the EU's proposed text of a joint
declaration (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 October 1999).
Elsewhere, Kouchner said that he doubts that the opposition
has the strength to overthrow Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic, Radio Svobodna Evropa reported. PM

MILOSEVIC BLASTS OPPOSITION. In Belgrade on 11 October,
Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic said that the EU's
demand that the opposition pledge to extradite war criminals
to The Hague was "irresponsible at such a critical moment in
Serbia's history." In Leskovac, Milosevic nonetheless accused
his opponents of being the West's "bootlickers." He appealed
to citizens not to "be fooled by those who drag themselves
along the streets of our towns in the evenings," by which he
apparently referred to the opposition's protest marches.
Milosevic charged that the opposition wants to launch a
"civil war." PM

MONTENEGRIN PRIME MINISTER 'DISAPPOINTED' BY OPPOSITION.
Filip Vujanovic said in Luxembourg on 11 October that he was
"disappointed" by the decision of most Serbian opposition
leaders not to attend the conference. He called their
decision a "wrong move," the Frankfurt-based Serbian daily
"Vesti" reported. PM

PETRITSCH TO INVESTIGATE BOSNIAN SERBS' VISIT TO MILOSEVIC. A
spokeswoman for the international community's Wolfgang
Petritsch said that his office will ask Zivko Radisic, who is
the Serbian representative on the Bosnian joint presidency,
to explain his recent visit to indicted war criminal
Milosevic (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 October 1999),
Sarajevo's "Dnevni avaz" reported on 12 October. Republika
Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik criticized the visit by
Radisic and two other Bosnian Serb politicians, which has led
to a strain in relations between Dodik and Radisic, the daily
added. PM

ROMANIAN COALITION IN DISARRAY. The Senate on 11 October
voted to set up three investigation commissions to examine
the management of budgetary funds, privatization, and reform.
Two commissions will investigate the activities of the
Ministry of Culture and the State Property Fund, while the
third will examine how RomTelcom was privatized. The ministry
and the fund are both headed by members of the National
Peasant Party Christian Democratic (PNTCD). The initiative to
set up the commissions came from the Democratic Party, the
PNTCD's minor coalition partner. In the vote on forming the
new commissions, the opposition backed the Democrats, while
the PNTCD and other coalition members opposed the initiative.
The Democrats are also demanding that a special commission be
set up to examine whether the Environment Ministry (also
headed by a PNTCD member) is meeting conditions for EU
membership, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. MS

DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF ROMANIA DEPLETED BY DESERTIONS. Deputies
Romeo Trifu and Liviu Spataru from the Democratic Party
announced on 11 October their resignation from the party,
which is headed by Senate chairman Petre Roman, RFE/RL's
Bucharest bureau reported. Two weeks earlier, the Democrats
were deserted by deputy George Serban and Senator Radu F.
Alexandru. Trifu said he is leaving the party owing to the
Democrats' "arrogance" in relations with coalition partners
and with rank-and-file members of the party. Spataru said his
decision was prompted by the party's having distanced itself
from a social-democratic orientation and by the fact that
Roman is "the prisoner" of a "group of Democratic Party
ministers who are demolishing the party's structures." MS

BULGARIAN PREMIER WARNS AGAINST EU 'ILLUSIONS.' Ivan Kostov
on 9 October warned Bulgarians that they must not entertain
"illusions" about being accepted into the EU without building
a competitive economy and a modern infrastructure, AP
reported, citing BTA. Addressing a public rally in
Dimitrovgrad, Kostov said that "some people imagine Europe as
a charity organization." BTA reported the previous day that
British Premier Tony Blair has addressed a letter to Kostov
saying Sofia's commitment to close down the controversial
Kozloduy nuclear plant will improve its chances of EU
integration. MS

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word subscribe as the subject of the message.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word unsubscribe as the subject of the message.

For subscription problems or inquiries, please email
hermanoval@rferl.org
________________________________________________
CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES ON THE WEB
Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest
are online at: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/
_________________________________________________
LISTEN TO NEWS FOR 25 COUNTRIES
RFE/RL programs are online daily at RFE/RL's 24-Hour LIVE
Broadcast Studio. http://www.rferl.org/realaudio/index.html
_________________________________________________
REPRINT POLICY
To receive reprint permission, please contact Paul Goble via
email at GobleP@rferl.org or fax at 202-457-6992
_________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE STAFF
* Paul Goble, Publisher, GobleP@rferl.org
* Liz Fuller, Editor-in-Chief, CarlsonE@rferl.org
* Patrick Moore, Team Leader, MooreP@rferl.org
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org
* Julie A. Corwin, CorwinJ@rferl.org
* Jan Maksymiuk, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org
* Fabian Schmidt, SchmidtF@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir, ShafirM@rferl.org

FREE-LANCE AND OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTORS
* Asta Banionis, Pete Baumgartner, Victor Gomez, Mel Huang,
Dan Ionescu, Zsolt-Istvan Mato, Jolyon Naegele, Matyas Szabo,
Anthony Wesolowsky, Martins J. Zvaners

RFE/RL Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630
_________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole